Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mizpah Memories

Mizpah by Julia A. Baker
And "God keep watch 'tween thee and me";
This is my prayer;
He looks thy way, He looketh mine,
And keeps us near.

I find it both ironic and iconic that my arrival coincides with the grand reopening of Our Matron the Mizpah.
It is pure unplanned romantic craziness.

One does not grow up in her shadow unaffected. By the time I became the green horn reporter at the Tonopah Times-Bonanza & Goldfield News, the outlook for her was a bit bleak. I embarked on a one woman crusade keep her memory aflame as best I could, while she sat vacant steeping in secrets and ghost stories. I will tell you in a moment why I do not regret it for a second that I would whisper her name whenever I could find an excuse. It is a faith-based calling.

Oh, Tonopah. I do not even think the locals would argue that most who drive by (and plenty who still live there) think the town is a hole. A town on top of the mountain that is, now, but a hole. Even with the Matron aboard it is would take an offering plate collection of like minds to change that perspective...I digress.

Then, there are the crazies who like old T-town and the Matron for her unhol-e-ness. My girl Andrea says it best when she refers to out of the 365 you get 120 of pure bliss. Old Tonopah is definitely not for the faint hearted. Home is home. And, even when I am mad at or away from old Tonopah, it is like Julia A. Baker says in the Mizpah poem, "Yet God keep watch 'tween thee and me; Both be His care; One arm round thee and one round me. Will keep us near...."

have only just now admitted to myself I will not attend the grand opening. It does not jive with the family schedule. I have appeased myself with thoughts of lunch dates or after work cocktails, in her arms...sigh... because it was finally meant to be. I may not be there to celebrate the occasion, but I will rejoice.

There are one million memories swirling through my mind like the dress I imagine the lady in red wore, as she swished down the hallway. Romantic memories. Insanely mundane and of no consequence memories. A belly full of laughs with your best girl ever because you both ran away from home for a night kind of memories...That night we traded keeping the home fire burning (tending to the frozen pipes) for two turns at bubble baths in the hotels' old claw footed bath tubs.  It was definitely among those 120 days of bliss albeit in the middle of the hole. Without my best girl ever by my side, the memory is so much more important.

A few months ago, when I first heard the high hopes of Our Matron's revival I was immediately pleased. A little smile of  good- for-her-congratulations was on my face. As far away as I felt, I could not help but want to wish that project well. When it is boom and bust, every single boom counts. It will not save a dying town, but it does give her a leg to which to brace herself as she trudges along. The revival of the Mizpah and Tonopah are not one in the same. Again the words to the Mizpah poem is in mind, "Should wealth and fame perchance be thine, And my lot lowly be, Or you be sad and sorrowful, And glory be for me; Yet God keep watch 'tween thee and me; Both be His care;One arm round thee and one round me; Will keep us near."

I have been in and out of Tonopah quite a bit in the weeks leading up to this grand re-opening and nothing could not spoil my excitement over it. My best Mizpah memory comes to mind in tandem with that inexperienced reporter gig I held way back when. On that day, Sandy Harmon graced me with a grand tour and at some point brought me to the roof.

It seemed a bit precarious at first, to be on top of her. After my equilibrium adjusted, and in the excitement of the moment, I gazed upon the town below in every direction. For a minute I saw what those four men saw when they celebrated the Matron's birth with fine wine and cigars over 100 years ago.

I saw what they saw. I saw potential for prosperity. And, in that moment it did not matter to me the doors and windows to the hotel, and the town, were shuttered.

Even my deepest, darkest hour of self invested angst I never once looked at Tonopah the way I did before that moment I spent roof-top. I would go so far as to say my perspective of the whole world changed that day. It really did. It gave me the kind of fuel that drives freight trains forward.

Faith is a powerful force. Those men had it behind them when they built her. Obviously the new owners have a bit behind them, or they would not dare. And this coincidence of my homecoming, and her grand re-opening seems such sweet destiny....pure unplanned romantic craziness. Such a memory brings the lesson full circle. A little reminder of faith in myself and things that are finally meant to be.

I do not know what will happen next but I think Julia A. Baker says it best when she wrote it.
Yet coming to the Mercy seat,
My soul will meet with thine.
And "God keep watch 'tween thee and me,"
I'll whisper there.
He blesseth thee, He blesseth me,
And we are near.

Thanks for reading, HjB.

To read the poem in its entirety you can visit this link: Mizpah by Julia A. Baker

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Go for It, Girl. It is Wednesday.

I have twiddled myself down to 15 minutes on the clock. I have exactly that long until the rice needs to go on; I have 45 minutes until dinner about finishes. For the sake of Wild Wednesday I said, "Go for it girl."

Confession # 1: I have not brushed my hair (and nobody noticed) for about 3-5 days. Depending on what you consider hair brushing.

Confession # 2: I spent the entire day on my Internet. I transferred my entire blog, even some pretty lame posts to a new site. Did you notice things looked weird? It was the fun part of my day--the wildly not going to get dressed because it is the National first time I have had Internet in FOREVER day.
WELCOME ~ and I'll explain more later...
Confession # 3: I am not entirely impressed by my obsession with: the comma, the semi-colon, the run on sentence and misspelling of things; ie the complete lack of ability to edit in face of my little "publish" high. It is my nerdy girl thing. Wildnevadan girl like wifi... yes I can hear my 9th grade English teacher saying, "When in doubt, leave it out."

Confession subanomoly # Things look bright for tomorrow but the wind is kind of blowing right now. I had plans for a pie chart from the old website that gave me hope about moving the cheese to a free blog spot. I have dinner to cook and the timer has gone MISSING. I guess nerdy gir, ahem The Wild Nevadan HjB, l will return with some kind of traffic report at a later date....So, Wild Wednesday to you my loveys. And, just keep on reading...
a tumbleweed dancing... The Wild Nevadan HjB

A Dose of Reality

I have never been one to blend into the scenery. I am not a wall flower; I am more the wild flower. I'm not the sweet morning song of a yellow canary. I am quick like a humming bird, in and out as fast as I can buzz through; and my metabolism devours the sweet nectar of life until it is expired, and then I am off to the next adventure, ahem, flower.
So to speak, I am not the calming, gentle affect of an evening at home by the fire. No, not me. I am a wild land fire on a hot windy day. I might as well wear a red furry coat around this month, because it is that easy to hear and see me as I pass by.
Whether it is a blessing or a curse, it is the state of my being. I have had to embrace it; to lovingly accept it as a part of who I am. And, over the years and though it sometimes conflicts with my shy and gentle side, when I find the need to blend into the scenery has overcome me, I just put on my furry red coat and fringe panties and with false bravado beneath my ass, climb on the bar....kidding!
I have instant karma too. The minute I need a reality check, the Lord always provides one for me. I have one of my wild Nevadan stories to tell today. I shouldn't. I don't want to. But, it is like a red fur coat and fringe panties. You can't get away with wearing such an outfit, unless you are willing to shake those cha chas. False bravado does, in fact, sometimes turn into real bravado...facing fears being what we humans must do, all too often.
So, I blogged last week, about how this old naked stick bush has not got hung up in the fence, once, since the adventure of this new life began. That same day I reported to my mother, who we lovingly refer to as the wagon master because of her place as matriarch of the family, that things are going along well, with an up tick, a round of positive attitudes and such.
"We haven't even wrecked the place." I told her about our temporary home, my grandmother's house.
She knows about my tendency to break glass and what not. I am sure she was releved to hear as much. I know I was overly happy to report as much.
And so this naked stick bush has been so happy (even without a job or Internet service) my general attitude could be compared to a wildnevadan dancing on the bar, in perpetual state of happy hour. You know since the gate was left open and the tumbleweed inside me escaped and started dancing on this wind, there hasn't been one reason to trouble myself with toil. I have done nothing but cultivate the celebration, inside. Already, I have gained a much needed four pounds, in my sated state.
Like I said before, when a good dose of reality is needed to bring me back to Earth, the Lord never fails to bring me to it. Such is what happened this weekend and now the good men and women of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Department are my heroes.
And, I have been given credit for "being the most exciting thing to happen around here in awhile." They have no idea how the law of attraction that affects this old naked stick bush...
Yes, the rumor is true. There was a small, man made, brush fire on the property in Kingston. No real damage was done, except to actual sagebrush and spirits, which has dampened my tumbleweed ability to dance. Oh, talk about finding myself hung up in the fence despite the wind. Talk about the end of that extended feeling of happy hour.
I might have never even mentioned it here on the Dancing Tumbleweed blog, because it was embarrassing; and I do not know for sure, except that there was no lightning, how the fire began. But, a friend from Tonopah left a message on my phone last night; and he already knew a version of the story. Sometimes, being the girl in the red fur coat and fringe panties is a travesty! And, as small as the hill and dale is between Kingston and Tonopah, it is quite a distance for such a tale to travel so fast....ahem it crossed a county line!
So I will give you all I know. Yes. I had to dial 911. In my state of panic I told dispatch it was "An emergency!" and not knowing the real address on James Court of that little yellow house I have made a visit to every few months for 33 years, I added, "The fire is highly visible! Just get in the fire truck, and come on!" And they did. And between them, the equipment, and their quick response time, and my foresight to have called them immediately, TRAGEDY was AVERTED.... THANK YOU LORD.
And, so I have been shaking my head in dismay and embarrassment for days, unable to dance or get out of this fence I was caught up in when the fire began. And, I was only temporarily relieved the wagon master did not reach through the phone and strangle me when I told her about the mysterious incident. And, now it being Monday again, I know it is time to get my red fur coat and pull up my big girl red fringe panties so that I might  metaphorically hop back on my horse and just embrace what was just a little too much of me. You know...Ride cowgirl, ride...
So, starting today, I am going to call "it" a minor setback. And, it being time to dance again, I shall return to the duty of that. But, this time I shall dance with my feet on the ground (instead of the metaphorical bar and happy hour in which I referred to earlier). And, this time, I am dancing with a good dose of reality lit under my ass.
Have a good week you all. I hope I see you again before wild Wednesday rolls around!
Aug. 22, 2011

Naked Stick Bush Dancing

As I write this it has been 13 days since my last blogy blog for the Dancing Tumbleweed. I have been dancing in the never nevers, far as a person can be from internet or cell phone service. I missed two wild Wednesdays, and trust me both were more wild than any I’ve had since I began celebrating them here. And, I still don’t have a plan as to how I will link up and actually post this, but I have to write now, while my household is at peace with what we have done.
If you want to see a naked stick bush dance, you should see me dancing now. In the shadow of Bunker hill at my grandparents place in Kingston, with a brand new life on our horizon, there is no fear in me. I am home. I am where I need to be. The rest of the clan can only thrive. And somehow, I just know it.
When I named the Dancing Tumblweed blog I remember saying I dance across this great state about as graceful as any naked stick bush could. You should see me dancing now. You should see the song in my heart and the light in my eyes. It is so obvious that even I am taken aback, when I study my own reflection.
So, what happened was this. I was on my way Tonopah for a good old fashioned range. Then, I spent a wonderful week with the boys, in and out of Tonopah, and across the Big Smoky Valley to Kingston; up to Groves lake, etc. It was as carefree a week I have had for as long as I can remember. It was wonderful and peaceful and I was crazy happy. Every call home to my man, he could hear that old Happy Heidi on the line. I even went as far to tell him, “I’m not so ready to come home just yet. I AM at home, here, and right now.”
The next thing I know, it is time to turn and burn and rent a Uhaul, and put out some resumes (in good 'ol T-town).
Less than one week later the whole dang family, and our stuff, and our critters (minus the chickens) have been relocated to my grandmother’s house at Kingston. Here we are brand new life: Yee-Haw! I call myself the wild Nevadan for reasons like these.
Uhauls are expensive and so is gasoline, but the naked stick bush has not been hung up in one single fence, so far! I take it as a sign of what is to come for us. Our future may be uncertain but I do not feel uncertain. And, as intense as it all was, it was still like I was dancing to that old camp song “Home means Nevada. Home means the hills, home means the sage and the pine…” Or, was the song, "She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes..."
I guess I was anxious to range and have found myself ranging as free as any cow, as a deer, as the jackrabbit who hops out his hole for breakfast, and sniffs the sage for what the day will bring. If the naked stick bush has ever been graceful it was just now as I pulled off this latest, and our greatest, move.
 It is not just adrenaline, it is happiness and peace. I am happy to be here. I am happy to be home. I am most happy to have a new adventure at hand, and a brand new life to piece together. If I was bored before, I am not anymore.There is something to be said about being around the people who I love the most, and who move me to my greatness.
So, here’s a welcome home to me, the dancing tumbleweed has arrived in the valley. AND, here is to knowing there are not tumbleweed wishes in my pocket today, or here, only the power of what must happen and what must be for me to keep my spirit free.
In closing, it will be 7-10 days before the technician contacts me and we make plans to have our internet service restored. For now, I am reporting live from a wi-fi connection at the Club House Saloon in drinks for me today. It is strictly business this job hunt...So, hang in there my friends. I shall blog as wildly as blog thoughts happen as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading!
Aug. 15, 2011

Cowgirl Worship, Blognapping Barbie

"How ’bout them cowgirls
Boys ain’t they somthin’
Sure are some proud girls
And you can’t tell ‘em nothin’
And I tell you right now girls
May just be seven wonders of this big, old round world
But how ’bout them cowgirls"
~Excerpt from How Bout Them Cowgirls by George Strait.
I worship cowgirls.
Yup, I mean W.O.R.S.H.I.P. them.
I've tagged along with the best of them, but never really was one. Years have passed and I will forever consider myself lucky to have known these girls, and still able to check in on them from time to time on FB. Their posts, or pictures or whatever they say is always inspirational. They remind me of who I am and want to be...
That cowgirls don't cry, they ride baby ride. 
Since I rarely rub shoulders with my favorite of Gods' creatures I have been living vicariously through this blog I tumbled across.
It is called Buckaroo Barbie. I blognapped the best post ever, and I am sharing it, here, because it is a perfect example of WHY I love cowgirls so much.
I don't know Liz, personally, but I feel like I do from her blog: I know one thing, she is a REAL cowgirl and I worship her. 
I cannot get over the line in this blog post that sounds so much like my sisters and I in our teenage years at the Ranch... "Do you have a clean knife to cut the cheese, cuz I sure don't."
And, just because I blognapped Barbie, I feel like I should do a little more blognapping while I am at it. I AM an all or nothing type.
So, in the interest of my cowgirl worship...drum are three more cowgirl images I had the mind to nab from Google.
Shhh, don't tell or I will getcha back.
July 31, 2011

Ms. Fix It

I have been known to break things, like glass or, more recently lawn mowers. So, one of the endearing nicknames my man has given me over the years is Ram Rod. I would prefer Rough Neck, but we do not often get to choose our own nick names.
The call goes something like this, "Um. Hon. Um. I broke it..."
His reply, "I will be there in a minute, Ram Rod."
My Man is pretty handy and I have to admit he does not complain too much when he fixes my broken crap. For example, this past weekend he righted a wrong and, using a torch, replaced a Mandrake on the lawn mower we borrowed from the boss.
It was a pain in the ass kind of project that he would not have had to do if I had just been a little more careful, you know. The good part is I fetched tools and once we were done he considered me half the fix it team. He even gave me a high five. He is a good guy this way. I really appreciate his attitude toward my RamRodyness.
Anyhow, I am not so handy and being the one who usually does the breaking, it is hard for me to return fix it favors. Until this morning.
Last week he was under the tractor (or the bailer, I'm not sure). While busy, wiggling and wrenching on whatever, his cell phone escaped his pocket and he was unable to locate it in the grass. After a lengthy search he gave up and got back in and hit go.
Crunch. Yes, that's what it sounds like when you bail your cell phone. So, he stops the tractor and the bailer and he goes a hunting for the device again. He was able to locate the cell phone and all the parts but the back that holds the battery in.
So, for a week he has been eying my brand new Android and fiddling with the battery on his old broken phone. It still works, but it is not really convenient anymore, because the battery falls out.
So, this morning after I have a cup of coffee in me, and before he wakes, a wild idea comes to my mind, and I am after a way to return the fix it favors.
Step 1: Locate a ranch girls' best friend: 
Duct Tape
Step 2: Measure (just eyeball it) and cut...
If it is broke around here we fix it...
And, I fixed it!
Somehow I doubt I will get to replace my Ram Rod nickname with Ms. Fix it, just yet. I am also not sure if he will appreciate my fix-it favor, or my effort, because I know he is not as huge a fan of duct tape as I am. But, I do know, this wild woman will not regret have a wild Wednesday!
July 27, 2011

A Fresh Perspective

I've been a crankapotimious the past couple of days. I broke more than my car and the bank and a couple of lawn mowers, and with the bugs, I have been a little off my mark.
When I get this way I know the best way to shake it off is to start my day with an egg count of blessings that are present in my life. I have found it a good way to put a little light, ahem perspective, on a just about any squirly situation.
I also find, it fresh to look at the things I see everyday or from parts of my life that I love, and stroke it with heightened appreciation. You know, appreciate what is, and what is working, even if it seems meager next to the issue of the national debt...
My garden is not going to pump out enough for even one table at a farmer's market like I tumbleweed wish.
However, the things that come from it today have left me with a fresh perspective.
It fed, or I guess I should say will feed, my hungry soul.
And when I add these things to the fresh Nevada grown beef rib roast cooking in my Crock pot...
We might as well have some fresh, home made sourdough bread to go with the roast.
Thank heavens it is still alive! It has been longer than a month since I fiddled with my favorite uncontrolled scientific experiment.
And, if we are going to have fresh bread then maybe we should have some greens from the garden...
Doesn't my fresh farmy ranchy made dinner sound yummy? It does to me too! It smells amazing. Can you tell that my spirits have lifted past the cloud of mosquitoes? It has.
It is amazing how a good egg count of ones blessings can bring forward the fresh flowers from the grass.
You know this wild Nevadan girl-woman would put up with any element God can create as long as she can eat from life's garden from time to time. Life is meant to be as good as fresh food!
My fresh perspective does not stop there. I have plans for tonight...
I have plans for a good long soak in a chamomile bath while I read book sent to me by a good friend. Somehow, I bet she just knew I would be nose deep in it by sundown! Thanks girl, you rock.
Have a good night all and don't forget to get a good egg count on your blessings in the morn. --HjB
July 23, 2011

5 Hump Day Chicken Scratch It Facts

The roosters humped two hens into oblivion. By oblivion I mean there was one dead when I went to release them to their yard that morning. I figure it was a terrible way to die and still feel pretty bad about it. Especially, because I had noticed that week the poor hens were scared and stressed. It cannot be fun to be humped every time you move.
The first eight rowdy guys gave me only the trouble of a frantic chase, that ended with them being lightly tossed over a fence to time-out. It was when I put my sights on a speckled one, a Plymouth, that I met my wild-rowdy match.
He had been caught twice before and released outside the yard and found himself lower in the pecking order by the time he returned. Now I know, roosters do not get easier to catch every time you catch them. When I put my eye on him, his beady eye met mine as if to say, "Not today Lady. You aren't going to separate me from my chicas."
And he meant it. As soon as I made a move for him he startled me by making flap his wings and lifting off the ground to eye level with his back legs and spurs drawn forward. It sounded like a helicopter. If you have ever seen Crouching Tiger or any movie that makes fun of the slow motion martial arts effect, it would have been an appropriate comparison.
I faltered. I hesitated. The speckled rooster saw it. So, within a couple seconds, I had stepped back about three feet and his flapping wings brought his feet to my right arm for what he thought was going to be a good scratch fest.
I think I put my other arm out to defend myself, but while there I grabbed a hold of that cock's toe and with a crack, I chucked him over the fence with the other eight. The rooster round up was done for me for that day. One broken cock toe and just a couple battle wounds, but I mostly do not like to hurt critters. Even rowdy roosters who hump hens into oblivion.
And, so it was time to butcher and so we did. My man and I spent Sunday morning with one and only one goal in mind. To be rid of this big fat rowdy rooster problem. Or better said, to be on the other side of the chicken massacre of our own design.
I will save you all the gory details, but this: About midway through the mess of feathers and boiling water and realizing I STILL do not know how to sharpen my own knife, I thought: this has to be one of my most red neck moments ever. A few minutes later I suggested to my mate, we never take on such a venture again. He agreed with me whole heartedly. I guess chickens are not going to be our thing.
Just so you know out of what was probably 50 chicks we have a finial head count of 20 (or was it 22) hens; two really pretty roosters; and two really ugly roosters (at least we think they are roosters). And, over the course of 23 weeks I morphed from a chicken novice to a chicken expert, who still ought not be allowed to touch the eggs. Who brags about that on their resume?
All I know, is balance has been restored to Heidi's Hen House and I'm ready to give out 5 wildnevadan hump day chicken scratch-it facts.
1. Old broken toe was the first to go.
2. There is no good reason to keep chickens, except maybe (and maybe being a very strong word) the ambiance of it.
3. A rooster's testicals are bigger than their heart. (Physically and metaphorically speaking!)
4. Happy hens take dirt baths. (Hoo-raw, me too!)
5. I got a good giggle when my man checked the freezer and found I had marked one, "Broken toe." He said, "You are a sick woman. You know old broken toe is going to be in there until he gets freezer burnt and we have to throw him away." L.O.L.
I hope your Wednesday gets wild but not this wild.
 July 20, 2011

No E.T.A. ~Just Memories

A couple of weeks ago I took a blurry photo of my boys and old Toby dog as we made our way back to the car after a wander.
Toby is about 90 percent retired to rolling around in the grass and chewing on whatever old disgusting bone he has mind to bring home and chew on. He is 13 and he (do not tell him) is not as spritely as he once was. He almost never gets to go for a ride anymore.
Even he knows things have changed.
When I came upon this old blurry good for nothing photo in my camera, however, I was taken by surprise by the emotion it carried me to.
As hard as it is on the old guy, he still loves to wander as much as his Mama. And, as much as the boys. As my first kid, he always belongs in the mix that is now a foursome. I know the days the four of us romp stomp and wander without school and work schedules or dogie heaven are so limited.
So its time to cut, bail and stack grass hay. That means my man is tractor bound for about 12 hours a day. Which, also means me and my three amigos have to find something besides occasional work-invites to keep us busy (and from getting bored).
Did I leave you hanging yesterday with the wild Wednesday post? Did you feel like perhaps you missed the bus and the story that proceeded it? It was my intention. Now you know.
It began like this.
It was Tuesday and my voice of reason, (ahem, my man) agreed it was a good idea to take the boys on an errand. The car works. I really want to go check out this hot springs by Metropolis, on my way into Wells. I do not even get past the tumbleweed wish before he reasons with me. He says: Just wait until I can go.
Off to work he went, and off the regularly scheduled programming I went. It was so subtle even I do not realize it: I have gathered all that I would need for an entire day wander. I open up the back of the Mommy car and whistle for Toby.
Sometimes I am after something and I do not even know it. It was then I knew what I was after. The errand in Wells was going to take a back seat to a good little drive down a dirt road to find water and let my Toby dog swim. You know, drive by where the hot springs might be. And, if I don't find water then I will put some gas in the mommy car while I am doing that errand in Wells, and hit up plan B, which is to check out Angel Lake, above Wells.
And, through Deeth, and down an old dirt road we began to wander.
I do not really rip up sagebrush when I range. I take pictures of it.
We stop and got out, and I tell everyone to watch out for snakes. I could imagine that back at the ranch, my man has discovered Toby is gone and now suspects we were headed to the never never.
I send off a text: We took the long way. I will let you know when we get to Wells. Everything is fine.
The shortest best route to Wells is one hour round trip if you are after it. What we call the long way home is between one and two hours round trip, depending on attitude. I know he knows I mean the really really really long way...almost all dirt, blow through 100 miles, and no real estimate available for my estimated time of arrival, back home.
The phone rings. My voice of reason brings me a few too many good reasons why I should not have. I try to convince him I am not at any hot springs. I try to convince him I was careful; and that I am not anywhere near the Nevada never never.
He hangs up and I send him a text: Calm down.
My Toby is swimming...
And, I am taking pictures...
I act like it is fine to behave this way because I know it is. Then, I bumped into a clump of bright orange wild geraniums.
The scrubby orange flowers were a favorite wildflower of my Grammie. I miss her, and when I see things she loved, I remember how precious my time with her was. When my son bent down to pick one, and then my other son shoved another handful in his pockets, the lesson came full circle.
One happy memory such as this will be just as sacred as my grandmother's memory is to me, someday. I know our time as a four-legged wild bunch who wanders off, is precious because it does have a real limit.
And, do not worry that my man was really mad when we did finally arrive home.
The corners of his lips lifted into a slight smile when the voice of reason came out of his mouth.
He said, "Typical Heidi. It took you six hours to run an errand." Then he gestures toward the dusty old mommy car we broke the bank to fix last week and he adds, "I can tell you went in the sagebrush!"
And his smile means I am still the woman he came to Nevada to love. And, just because he was really quiet when he watched me unload a beat down Toby who could barely carry his back end, I made sure I stuck to the game plan on Wednesday. That means I had to work my little butt off to make good on my wanderlust.
And now you know. That is why I had to let Paul Harvey tell you what I did not have time to explain. 
You cannot put an estimated time of arrival on one special moment or one good memory. Just gather them whenever and wherever you can. Life has limits and these memories are all we have to get us through the hard times. 
July 14, 2011

And Now You Know

And now you know -- the rest of the story. Paul Harvey
I hope your Wednesday was wild.
July 13, 2011

Why the Hell Not.

The wagon master (my mom) will be here tomorrow night and so I should have been after my house with haste. Instead it has been like two turtles... No, seriously, I am taking an official break but if there had been a witness, they would say Humph, you been taking a break all day girl. That little green devil on my shoulder agreed when I said to myself, just now, why the hell not.
Yesterdays' wait on the mechanic drained me. And, a fixed car is bittersweet when the budget has been burdened by roughly what it cost to feed us for a month. I know we will figure "it" out. But gawd I am tired of pretending I believe in that particular fairy tale. 
I guess I was spoiled by a mechanic for a father who used to take me under the pickup when I first started to break them.
He would say, "See this. It is not supposed to hang off like this." Now, I think mechanics take advantage of the fact I am not sure what is going on under my hood. It is hard for me to feel faithful or grateful for the services rendered after it has been tendered.
Alas, it was nice to kick up a dust tail on my way home last night. It was the first dust tail in my rear view mirror this season. That dirt road country song came on the radio and I cracked open a cold one to toast. The little green devil said, why the hell not.
I told my BFF one time that a tire that won't hold air makes me hyperventalate.
If a useless tire can do all that, you should have been alone inside my wild mind this past month.
While I put-put-putted around the valley at less than 5 miles per hour; and never so much further than 2.5 miles from home; unless we HAD to. There were NO dust tails. 
A life without dust tails is pretty dull. I am B.O.R.E.D. with it. So it has been mosey me all day. I've been after my to-do list, but just barely. I put on huge orange beach hat while I trudged and even that did not pick me up to a walk.
The only thing I can say for sure is all the loose change has been relocated to the secret road trip coffee can in my office. And, a plan to hit up a Coinstar machine before I jump this county on my way to T-town is rolling across the back of my mind like thunder. And the little green devil on my shoulder is not exactly whispering, why the hell not.
The truth is, I had much higher expectations for this summer. When I started the jaunt to journey campaign I was itchy enough to get on down that old dirt road; I am optimistic by nature and actually believed I would figure "it" out.
I remember telling a certain someone about it (I was still excited then) and their response was this, "So your blog is like an alternate reality. A fairy tale for you." Nice. I love a good throat punch.
Now that we fixed my old Mommy car and its ready to range my budget is like ploof and that whole jaunt to journey thing does sound like an alternate reality. Even to me. I am not necessarily impressed that I put it out there that I believe in fairy tails. Perhaps I was high on chicken poop dust when I wrote it. Maybe it was not tumbleweed wishes, but that little green devil? I am not sure right now. 
Talk to you on the flip side of this mood. I have a date planned for this weekend while the boys camp with their grandma. I am going to derail this funk--ahem, suck down some Captains, and stab the figure "it" out fairy tale with the pitch fork that belongs to the little green devil on my shoulder. Why the hell not.
Before I go I just want to put up one road cone. I love your comments and I do hope somebody comments every time I blog, but given my mood, would you all save me from reading, "You are not alone. A lot of people are having a hard time (financially) right now." It does not comfort me. The meager existence does not love company.
Loves and dust tails to you today,
July, 7 2011

Just Another Wild Wednesday

You know that Cindy song, "Just another manic Monday?" So far today, I have had, "just another wild Wednesday." My day, my typical; (atypical) Wednesday has the exact same beat. It is not a surprise. Sunday has blended all the way into Wednesday with my eyes open all wild like I am going to make a break for it.
I spent the morning on the chain. A team mate in the project that is yanking railroad ties ahem, fence posts, out of a giant suction of sogginess.
The very first link up I inserted my leg in the hole and I was suctioned to it like the stupid rail road tie. Now my Wednesday is  one leg wet.
In between the chain yanking I wildly made fly a hammer and made use of a crow bar to remove nails and stack boards. It was a wild whack fest. I will tell you right now, I am more handy with a shovel than a hammer.
If I take 10 swings at a nail I might hit it twice. I burnt a lot of calories before I finally resorted to my talent, which is bend them over...then, flip the board over so nobody could see, fall on or step on and require a tetanus shot. It was only a couple!
We came in for lunch hot and sweaty. I am sucking down half brewed sun tea, trying to catch a second wind when my man says to me, "You look kind of sexy all dirty."
"Well I am glad I can pull that off." I had sweat stains and hat head and my neck, which is naturally pink, is red. 
Good thing I pull off dirty. Since I spend a good portion of my time in such a state. No tiaras for me, not on any day of the week. 
Then, my karma reminds me thereafter that I do still reign as the Queen of Poo. (I will save the story for how I got my royal station for when it is over.)
After lunch I watched Lady Hawk make a few rounds and call to her almost grown babies, who must be in the grass around here somewhere.
They are between not knowing and knowing how to fly. I have not seen much of them since the chickens are not free.
The sight of her on the wind made my eyes open just a little bit wilder; my ranging bone is very itchy...
So, to save a little time and blur the lines a little I will tell you how my week came to be so wild eyed and whooly that my typical (or atypical) Wednesday was blurred that way since Sunday and the whole thing feels like a song.
Without my knowing how it was, the wild yellow roses in the area began to bloom. And, apparently, before I even had caught sight and smell of them in person, the affect was upon me.
Picture it:
It was the eve of their discovery, so it was Sunday, and the Lamoille County fair was F.U.N. Not kidding. The boys were cautiously envious of the giant jumpy slide and I knew there was no way by themselves. We played in the small jumpy house and we all watched scores of kids trade tickets for a slide ride.
I watched for some time and no adults took a turn, just kids.
Well, it came time to either poop or get off the pot and so I took the boys and the three tickets and we got in line. They were sooooooo excited. The worst that can happen is the lady says no, right?
We get past the ticket lady and about four inches up the jumpy slide ladder both kids have their breaks on. I mean totally froze up.
So, causing a traffic jam, I sort of leap frog them over each other, and while grabbing the ropes and climbing up, myself.
I don't look back and I can only imagine what kind of scene this is all causing.
I can only imagine if a crowd is getting larger in the spectators area.
I won't lie. There was just a little bit of adrenaline coursing through me by now. I am sweating and breathing hard from the exertion of forcing them upward and onward.
Just as we get to the top, one of the boys is kind of frightened by the thought of the slide ride, and lets out a huge,"I wanna goo home."
Both of them tried to head back toward the ladder, which was blocked by other kids by now.
So, I scooped them both in my arms, and with the, "I hope this does not go terribly wrong," thought in my head, I let it slide for the bottom!
After the shock wore off and we were back in the car on our way home I asked them, what was their favorite thing that day. Their answer: "The jumpy slide!"
I'm not kidding. They squealed. Three tickets and three minutes, and it set the wild tone for my wild week that is so far half way over.
This wild Wednesday would be just another typical (atypical) wild Wednesday, but for one thing was different.
The patch of wild yellow roses in the ranch yard has bloomed. Their fragrant smell is has made its way inside my window on a gentle summer breeze.
It has effectively done what half brewed sun tea cannot. It has given me my second wind. So I better get a move on, and that chicken out of the oven for dinner!
I love this life and I love my wild Wednesdays, be they typical (or atypical?) or soaked in a wild sunny scent. Thanks for sharing them with me. And, have a wild Wednesday, y'all.
June 29, 2011

Where the Yellow Roses Grow Wild

I left these roses about eight hours ago and their scent is still with me.
For two weeks in June, when dry is good, these flowers are the only thing that can compare scent of rain on sage. They are just like Nevada (and wild Nevadans) in their sunny, hearty, and wildly audacious character.
I was driving pretty slow down the dirt road admiring what  is for me, the long way home today. 
And, I guess if a wild Nevadan girl drives slow enough past someplace she is curious about, then she is bound to stop  for it eventually. 
I found myself parked at the gate of the Starr Valley Cemetery.
Old cemeteries are like old towns, they have plenty of personality. This old church was catching the afternoon light just right and I knew I was going to get picture lucky. 
A breeze kicked up and a familiar scent caught me by surprise.  I took a look around and saw nothing evident, only lilac bushes or wild flowers, but the memory was there beating like a heartbeat in my head. Emotions evoked by the scent of a wild yellow rose bush. You know somebody once loved the spot where the wild roses now grow wild.
So I knew there was more to this place, this cemetery, than meets the eye. While I looked for the source of the second best smell on Earth, I let my mind, my feet, and my kids wander.
I grew up in the campiest of all mining camps. As it goes with old mining camps, what was no longer useful was left where it was, to the elements. And so my home town had its share of empty ramshackle shantys surrounded by protective thorny bushes, and pockets of old vehicles or miners goodies.  
For two weeks ours and other rough and tumble places around the old mine camp turned into actual, once loved, little miners cabins' just because of these fragrant blooms. 
While in bloom, and for those two magical weeks, it was easy to imagine the mines open; those empty miner's cabins as homes; and the yellow roses were planted as a mining camp womans' best effort to take the edge off the rough, with exactly three drops of water to spare.
When I see the yellow roses bloom I know someone, probably a woman, once loved the spot where they now grow wild.
And, Those women must have held some appreciation for the wild and unruly side of life or they might have never come to what was the last frontier. Perhaps, that is why they appreciated the hearty, audacious "wild" yellow rose and planted it here. Maybe they recognized the likeness to the land, and the people?
I asked often and never got a strait answer on how the roses came to be there; or in the other mining camps from Virgina City to Goldfield; or in the backyards of ranches; churches; and graveyards. 
Perhaps the Mother who was memorialized here, was one of those wild unruly women who needed a patch, and planted roses that still grow at one of these nearby ranches. Perhaps she intended to take the edge off the rough for two weeks in the summer. 
She could never know her effort would evoke such emotion from me as I wander around looking for the source of my favorite smell, 100 years later? How could she have known?
As the years pass I find more value in what was left over by the generation before us. I also find more appreciation for the things that are left to the care of Mother Nature in man (or woman's) absence. 
And I have found a great admiration for the people who brought and built and planted these sturdy, hearty, audacious things here.
I think these early Nevadan people were not just working for themselves against all the odds, and up against the worst of elements.
When and where the roses grow, it seems the early Nevadans found a genuine way to appreciate where they were, and what they were doing here. And, they cared enough to plant a pretty rose. 
When my feet wanders around old cemeteries and my mind is off at that old mining camp of my youth, there can only be the scent of these wild yellow roses to blame. Finally, in the very back of the cemetery at the very top of the hill, behind a small stand of trees is the source of the sweet scent that drove me to emotions.
One look and I knew somebody once loved
the spot where these roses now grow wild.
Thanks for walking with me through the Starr Valley Cemetery.
June 28, 2011